When Christmas was approaching and all the shopping was done, (side note: I have never finished Christmas shopping as early as I did this year. I was 90% done by Thanksgiving and wrapped up the last few things early in December. Man, it felt good. It made for more time to relax and focus on the spiritual side of things. I recommend. anyway...) I felt like the kids could use just one more little thing from us but didn't want it to just be a meaningless filler type of gift, you know? So I decided to get super-meaningful and make all of the kids personalized shirts. Scott and I brainstormed together to come up with just the right words to use for each kid, something that would suit their personalities or their interests or would just show in some way that we really know them. I loved that process. Once we'd decided on the words, I just free-handed the designs and then cut them out of freezer paper.
(Another side note: I have tried fabric paint and just regular old cheap craft paint in the past and I find the craft paint to work far better. The fabric paint was thick and hard to work with, then cracked and peeled as the shirts were worn and washed. The regular craft paint goes on smooth and with each wash it just becomes part of the shirt (the paint did crack on Emma's, but that was because her shirt was kind of ribbed, not a true t-shirt. Anyway...)
Emma is an adventurous spirit. Her favorite things are hiking, camping, the outdoors, and going and seeing new things. Pretty much 90% of things she adds to pinterest are photos of this type of thing.
Ben mentioned this line from an Avett Brothers song was his favorite. We thought it suited him well as it speaks of confidence and determination.
Josh was named after the Old Testament prophet. This line from Joshua 1:9 reminded us of Josh's fortitude and fearlessness to do what's right no matter what.
Lydia, like all of us Cruzes, is short. She started kindergarten when she was still four, so she's also the youngest in her grade. Combine those two factors for an extra small 3rd grader. But her personality, her joy, and her radiance of goodness make up for her small packaging.
We named Afton for a song written from a poem written about a River in Scotland in 1791. "Sweet" just happens to be the one word that continues to describe her perfectly.